DTE Energy is preparing for an ice storm to impact customers in its Southeast Michigan service area. DTE advises its customers to keep a few tips in mind before a winter storm strikes:
·Assemble an emergency kit. It should include a battery-powered radio, flashlight and candles, extra batteries, first-aid kit, fire extinguisher, bottled water and non-perishable food.
·Customers depending on electrically-powered medical equipment should ask their physician about an emergency battery back-up system. If a customer is elderly or has a medical condition that would be adversely impacted by a power outage, they should develop an emergency plan that allows for alternative accommodations with family or friends.
·Keep a corded or cell phone on hand because a cordless telephone needs electricity to operate. Also, customers should learn how to manually open automated garage doors.
·Customers who depend on a well for drinking water need to plan ahead on how they will obtain water. Store containers of water for cooking and washing.
·Keep an emergency supply of fuel or wood handy. For safety, always store fuel in a dry place away from the house.
·Select a small, well-insulated room with a fireplace, wood stove or fuel-burning heater to use as emergency living quarters.
·Ensure your blanket supply is adequate for extended outages and secure a supply of cardboard. In an emergency, blankets and cardboard can be hung over windows and doorways to minimize heat loss.
Additional tips regarding safety around downed power lines include:
·Customers and their children and pets should stay at least 20 feet away from downed power lines and anything the power lines are in contact with, such as metal fences and vehicles. Call DTE Energy immediately at (800) 477-4747 to report downed power lines and/or a power outage.
·Never drive across a downed power line. If a power line falls on your vehicle, remain inside until help arrives.